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Top 10 Must-Shop American Made Cars

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author photo by Josh Sadlier July 2014

If you're shopping for a new car this year, the competition is fierce as automakers from around the world continue to push the envelope with advanced design and technology. Here's the good news: Many of those automakers are building cars right here in America, whether they're actually American companies or not. That means it's easier than ever to support our national economy with your next car purchase. Check out our top 10 must-shop American made cars; some of the brands may surprise you.

2014 Buick LaCrosse

Hailing from Kansas City, Kansas, the LaCrosse is the rare car that seems to get better with age. Thanks in part to ongoing improvements, including some interior revisions for 2014 and an updated IntelliLink touchscreen interface, the current-generation LaCrosse is just as competitive now as when it debuted back in 2010. But even without these tweaks, the LaCrosse had all the fundamentals from day one. It rides on a cloud, as a big Buick should, but it also handles surprisingly well, and the luxurious back seat is fit for visiting dignitaries. Plus, the available 3.6-liter V6 pumps out over 300 horsepower when you need it. Looking for a hybrid without the funky driving feel? Check out the Buick LaCrosse eAssist. It's a mild hybrid, but it does deliver 36 miles per gallon on the highway and 29 mpg in combined city and highway driving -- impressive for a large luxury sedan.

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2014 Chevrolet Corvette

The reinvented C7 Corvette sizzles with its 460-hp V8, while the Corvette Z06 with a supercharged V8 pushes well over 600 hp. But there's more to this 'Vette than just velocity. Chevy has finally given it the world-class interior it deserves, while the edgy exterior styling propels America's sports car to near-supercar status. Here's another cool thing about the Corvette: It's assembled in its own factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on a purpose-built platform that's not shared with any other GM model. You can make a strong case that the Corvette is quite simply the best American car on the market.

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2015 Chrysler 200

It's been a while since Chrysler had a competitive midsize sedan, so the satisfying new 200 comes as a welcome surprise. With slippery styling, a cockpit-like dashboard and a basic structure sourced from Alfa Romeo, the 200 is an unusually alluring family hauler. It's also quick with the optional 3.6-liter V6 (295 hp), and it's one of the only cars in this class to offer all-wheel drive. Other highlights include upscale cabin materials and the available 8.4-inch uConnect touchscreen, which is one of the best at any price. Built in Sterling Heights, Michigan, the 200 is proud to be an American.

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2015 Ford Mustang

For years, the Mustang has offered proven performance along with a look that rarely goes out of style. For 2015, the Mustang delivers revolutionary upgrades in the form of an independent rear suspension, upgraded interior appointments, and a long, lithe body that's almost Aston Martin-like. Either way, the 5.0-liter V8 is mighty tempting with its 420-plus hp and velvety high-revving character. Keep an eye on the 2015 Mustang's available 2.3-liter turbo four, which promises energetic acceleration and superior fuel economy; we'll be interested to see if Mustang aficionados welcome it into the fold. The Ford Mustang is built in Flat Rock, Michigan.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata

Redesigned for 2015, the Alabama-built Sonata makes us wonder if the rest of the world can keep up with Hyundai. The midsize Sonata has been improving relentlessly, and the latest design pairs assertive exterior styling with a convincingly upscale wood-trimmed dashboard inside. As before, the standard engine is an eager 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, but the optional 245-hp 2.0-liter turbo has some serious pep in its step while remaining admirably fuel-efficient. Another much-improved aspect of the Hyundai these days is its steering, which no longer feels artificial and disconnected from the road. Shoppers looking to support American workers should know that the gasoline-powered Sonata is built in the U.S., but the hybrid Sonata is not.

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2014 Honda Accord

Unlike the Johnny-come-lately Sonata, the Accord has called the U.S. home for decades, and the current model is in top form. Produced in Marysville, Ohio, today's Accord is the first to employ a continuously variable automatic transmission, which helps achieve an Environmental Protection Agency-rated 30 mpg in mixed driving. If that's not enough, the Accord Hybrid (also built in the US) gets a whopping 47 mpg, and even the thrilling 278-hp Accord V6 returns an admirable 26 mpg. The Accord also has one of the largest and most comfortable back seats in this class, and as ever, it's a hoot to drive on a twisty road.

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2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

OK, the Grand Cherokee isn't really a car, but it's so car-like to drive that we're giving it a pass. The unibody construction ensures a refined ride and reasonably responsive handling, while Jeep's tradition of off-road excellence is embodied in the JGC's go-anywhere skill set. What's especially notable about the current model is its sumptuous cabin, which stacks up well against fancy foreign SUVs and does so for many thousands less. The JGC used to be nice for an American SUV, but now it's just nice, period, and a great value to boot. We're high on the turbodiesel model, a recent addition that boasts 420 lb-ft of torque and an incredible 30 mpg on the highway, but the allure of the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 may prove hard to resist.

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2015 Nissan Murano

The all-new 2015 Nissan Murano will be produced at Nissan's plant in Canton, Mississippi, and it promises to be an alluring ultra-modern option for crossover fans. The boldly angular exterior styling sets an aggressive tone, while the standard 260-hp V6 under the hood certainly backs it up. Inside, the new Murano is a cut above the crossover norm, with premium touches such as door panels that flow seamlessly from the plushly padded armrests into the dash. Check out the NASA-inspired zero-gravity front seats, too: We loved them in the Altima, and they should be even better now that Nissan's had a few years to perfect them.

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2014 Tesla Model S

With all the controversy and hubbub about Tesla's first 4-door car, it's easy to forget that this electric hatchback is built right here in America. What's shocking is that Tesla was able to create an absolutely world-class car right off the bat, with rich wood and carbon-fiber inlays that look like accent pieces in a luxury high-rise. Of course, the main draw for Model S buyers is the incredible electric powertrain that yields up to 265 miles per charge and silently whisks the car to 60 miles per hour in as little as 4.2 seconds. But when you also consider the awesome touchscreen interface, 7-passenger seating (courtesy of a rear-facing third-row seat) and handy hatchback design, it's clear that the Model S is much more than a one-trick pony.

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2015 Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry has two things going for it: It's built in the U.S. and there's a fresh new version for 2015. While previous Camry models have been content to play it safe, Toyota's best-selling sedan now has a confident and sporty look without being over the top. We also like the no-nonsense dash with big buttons and a smooth waterfall design. We think the Camry is a bit of a secret in the world of mass-appeal family sedans. If you want all the safety and reliability of a Camry but also want your daily driver to have a little attitude, check out the Camry SE. The look, feel and stance of that car have enough of a coolness factor that you might forget the fact that you're driving the best-selling sedan in America. Toyota's powerful 3.5-liter V6 is no joke either. The Toyota Camry is built in Georgetown, Kentucky.

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AutoTrader Says

In today's global economy, buying American made cars isn't as simple as it used to be. In fact, some domestic-branded models are actually built outside of the U.S. If your goal is to support American workers, however, you have a lot more brands and models to choose from than you might think.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Top 10 Must-Shop American Made Cars - Autotrader